Have your children listen to safety rules in 4 simple steps
A customer wrote in with the following parenting question:
Whenever I pick my kids up from preschool, they run ahead of me and out into the street. I really don’t want to hit them even lightly in the hand when they do it, but I don’t know what else to do. How do I get them to follow the safety rules?
There are a few ways we can handle this problem without resorting to hitting. Here are some suggestions:
1. Prepare your children:
When you’re home and away from a parking lot, talk to them about safety rules and how you expect them to act when walking to and from the car. You can practice with them “When we walk in the parking lot we hold hands like this.”
You can also play the fool and say: “When we walk in the street, we run like this, without mommy, no way, we walk hand in hand like a monkey, no way, that’s how we walk, holding hands.” .”
2. Preemptive praise:
It is always helpful to praise your children when they deliver. In this situation, even before they act, you can praise them to show them that you have faith in their ability to do the right thing. Before you leave the building, you can tell them, “Do you remember our safety rules, how we are to walk in the parking lot? I know we are going to walk safely today. I know you will remember our safety rules. I know we are going to hold hands today, Ok, let’s go!”.
When my children were little, we always sang a song when we walked in the streets, it was something like this: “We hold hands in the street, in the street, in the street, so we walk safe.” Singing helps children manage transitions, moving from one place to another. Keeps children busy, engaged, and obedient. When they feel they are too old to sing, they will let you know.
4. Praise them again:
If they walk to the car safely, praise their actions. Be very specific, instead of saying “Good job” you can say, “You walked to the car safely, you held my hand the whole time we were on the street.” Children loved to be praised for even the simplest behaviors.
To learn more effective skills like these, visit us at http://www.parentingsimply.com. While you’re there, sign up for one of our highly informative workshops. I’m looking forward to meet you!